Windows phone needs Android apps, says ex-Microsoft CEO

Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer believes that the missing ingredient to make the Windows phone a success is Android application compatibility

Steve Baller, during his tenure as Microsoft CEO, who has criticised the company for not branching into Android apps

One of biggest advantages the Windows 10 smartphone has over its competitors is that it can run desktop-class applications on the device.

The major downside for the company, however, is that its app store has far too few applications – something that its former-CEO Steve Ballmer said must be rectified during Microsoft’s annual shareholder meeting.

Ballmer was also critical of the current CEO Satya Nadella’s response to an audience member at the meeting

Ballmer was also critical of the current CEO Satya Nadella’s response to an audience member at the meeting after he was asked why key apps were missing from the Windows Phone.

Nadella responded to the question, explaining that he believed Windows developers will be motivated by the fact that apps they create will work across all platforms – PCs, smartphones and tablets, making them more accessible. But Microsoft’s former-CEO does not believe this is enough to attract developers.

“That won’t work,” chimed Ballmer. He then went on to say that in order to appeal to developers the company must allows Windows Phones “to run Android apps”.

Project Astoria, the codename given for a supposed plan to port Android apps, was recently shelved – with Microsoft seemingly more concerned about helping iOS developers bring their creations to their device.

“We’re committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform, including bridges available now for Web and iOS, and soon Win32,” said a spokesperson for Microsoft in an official statement. “The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, but other tools offer great options for developers.

“For example, the iOS bridge enables developers to write a native Windows Universal app which calls UWP APIs directly from Objective-C, and to mix and match UWP and iOS concepts such as XAML and UIKit.”

The simple fact is that Microsoft’s plan to allow Android developers to port their applications over to their Windows 10 smartphone was less ambitious than it was for iOS developers. That may change, however, after Ballmer’s recent comments.